- “I cannot wait for that glorious moment! The Grey Wardens battle beside the king of Ferelden to stem the tide of evil!”
Son of King Maric Theirin and Queen Rowan, Cailan Theirin is the King of Ferelden after the sudden disappearance of his father in 9:25 Dragon. During the opening stages of the Fifth Blight he's been ruling for five years, alongside his wife Queen Anora, daughter of the hero Loghain Mac Tir.
Cailan was born in the year 9:5 Dragon. His mother had a love of books, and Cailan inherited this. He loved hearing heroic tales as a child, particularly those describing his father's rise to power. His mother, Rowan, died when he was still a boy in 9:8 Dragon, and the young prince grew up without siblings.
Cailan was not raised by his father alone. Loghain helped raise him and helped to organize his marriage to Anora, as they had grown up together. He was described at that time as always following her lead, and being thoroughly under her thumb. While Anora eventually grew fond of Cailan's charms, he was not above committing a few indiscretions with other women during their marriage. Cailan was never heavily involved in Ferelden's politics, and was happy to have Anora dealing with the administrative aspects of government, as in his mind, a true king's duty was to unite his people against a common enemy.
- See also: Battle of Ostagar
Rather than being concerned at the increasing number of darkspawn, Cailan embraced it as a chance to forge a legend of his own, by fighting alongside the legendary Grey Wardens at Ostagar. He was so determined to emerge victorious that he invited Orlesian soldiers into Ferelden, despite the fact that the nation had only been free from their rule for thirty years. When the battle begins, Cailan insisted on fighting on the front-lines, ignoring advice to the contrary. When Loghain pulled his troops from the battlefield, Cailan and most all of the Grey Wardens were overwhelmed by the darkspawn and he was subsequently crushed to death in the grip of an ogre.
- See also: Return to Ostagar (quest)
In Return to Ostagar DLC, Cailan is found in an almost crucified position with many wounds and without his armor on the same bridge that the Warden and Alistair crossed to reach the Tower of Ishal. Once all of his equipment is found the Warden may return to his body and give him a proper send off by burning his body in a pyre, leave him to the wolves, or leave his body to the darkspawn.
- "Allow me to be the first to welcome you to Ostagar. The Wardens will benefit greatly with you in their ranks."
- "Our arguments with the Orlesians are a thing of the past, and you will remember who is king!"
- "Enough of your conspiracy theories, Loghain! Grey Wardens battle the Blight, no matter where they're from!"
- "I'd hoped for a war like in the tales! A king riding with the fabled Grey Wardens against a tainted god!"
- Cailan was written by David Gaider.
- Once Alistair reveals at Redcliffe that he is Cailan's half-brother (the result of King Maric's affair with a castle maid), the physical similarities between them becomes rather obvious, with Cailan bearing a little more resemblance to their father (particulary in terms of hair style). The two even have similar personalities, being considered foolish or childish by others, despite their respectable titles. A major difference between the two is that while Alistair admits to not wanting the responsibility of being king, Cailan seems to revel in it and even actively seeks glory. This appears to be something that Alistair finds annoying, judging by the feelings he expresses about Cailan's battle plan at Ostagar.
- Conversation with Cailan's confidante, Elric Maraigne, at the beginning of Return to Ostagar reveals that Cailan knew the Battle of Ostagar would be lost--which directly contradicts his outwardly confident behavior. It's possible that Cailan knew showing any concern for the outcome of the battle could negatively effect morale and further lessen their chances of victory. This implies that Cailan, not unlike Alistair, was much wiser than he seemed to be, and that some of his unconcerned behavior might have merely been an act to bolster morale.
- The Greatsword Cailan wields has the same model as Yusaris.
- David Gaider confirmed in an interview that Cailan was, indeed, planning to leave Anora for Empress Celene due to Anora's supposed infertility. The subplot, however, got removed from the script and only later referenced in Return to Ostagar by The Secret Companion's party banter.